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  • Writer's pictureAshley Christine

Pursuing STEM

Maybe you graduated college years ago, or you never pursued a STEM career, or maybe you just want to learn something new. Whatever the case, here are some resources on where to learn more:



1. Khan Academy

cost: free

Khan Academy was started in 2008 by Sal Khan. What started as a tutoring site for mathematics, eventually branched off into science, computer programming, history, economics, and much more. It's free, but they do take donations.


The site is extremely well organized by subject and section. It moves in chronological order, but you'll know you missed something because the tutor will refer you to other videos if you're not following what they're covering in that particular video.


I used to go to this site when I needed a refresher in calculus, discrete, etc. It also has subtitles, which is nice.



2. edX

cost: free (ish)

edX.org was started in 2012 by Harvard and MIT as a way to make education more accessible to the masses. A valiant effort to educate as many people as possible.

They actually received a lot of flack in the educational world for that move, even from their own students, who claimed it wasn't fair that "unqualified" people could access the same courses that they were paying $50,000+ for.


But ultimately, other schools like Berkeley and Boston University joined in as well, and now you can access pretty much any subject you can possibly think of. They film the courses taught to their regular students on campus - which you can access for free - but if you're willing to pay extra, you can receive certification and have your work graded.


Or, if you're like me, you just like listening to the information, and you play it in the background while you do the dishes.



3. Self-pursuing research

cost: $40 - $400


This suggestion is for the casual learner.


Go to Barnes & Noble or Amazon and order any books that fit your fancy. Keep in mind, these are not the kind of academic books you'd read at university. Anything sold in a traditional bookstore is for the masses (easy to digest) so the subject matter is watered down. Because of this, you can start pretty much anywhere.


There is the option of buying university-level books, but they are significantly more expensive - hundreds of dollars compared to the $30 you'd buy at your local bookstore - and they are generally much more difficult to understand without a teacher going through each chapter with you.



4. University

cost: $8,000 - $80,000


Unless you are confident you want a complete overhaul of your life and want to begin a new career, I don't suggest going to university. However, if you have the time, money, and means, then it is an excellent choice.


Since Covid, many universities offer remote learning. Now, instead of relocating or driving 2 hours to class every day, you can just logon to your computer. I've done this, and it is harder than being in a classroom, but the option is nice. Especially if you live in the boondocks.


You can't go wrong with a STEM degree. There is always a demand. And even if there isn't, people just assume you're smart. So . . . that's neat.


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